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LDC Group statement at opening of SBSTA 42

Date: 01 June 2015

Opening of the forty-second session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 42)

Statement by the Republic of Angola on behalf of the Least Developed Countries Group

Bonn, Germany

Madam Chair, Distinguished Delegates, I have the honour to speak on behalf of the LDC Group. We would like to associate ourselves with the statements made by South Africa on behalf of G77 and China, by Sudan on behalf of the Africa Group and Maldives on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). Let me congratulate you, Madam Chair, on your appointment as the chair of this important body. We would also like to thank you for issuing the information notes for this SBSTA42. Through you, we would also like to express our sincere thanks to the secretariat for preparing numbers of useful documents in preparation for this session.

At the outset, allow me to express our solidarity with the government and people of Nepal in the wake of the various earthquakes that devastated the country. We send our prayers and condolences for the great loss of life, the disruption of livelihoods and irreparable damage to globally significant cultural heritage sites. This tragedy is a stark reminder of the low capacity and vulnerability of LDCs due to the fragility of our natural and human systems.

Madam Chair, as you rightly mentioned in the information note, 2015 is going to be challenging year for the whole UNFCCC process in terms of scarcity of time, heavy workload and the complexity of negotiations, all of which need to be carefully managed. For this we have full confidence in your leadership and believe that the important agendas will get adequate attention and reach successful conclusions at the earliest.

Madam Chair, the report of Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) of the 2013-2015 Review finds that keeping warming below 2°C cannot be considered safe. Climate impacts already cost lives. As the report clearly states, “additional magnitudes of warming will only increase the risk of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts”. The Structured Expert Dialogue thus directly lends stringent, scientific support to our position on a 1.5°C as a scientifically defensible global goal.

It is critical that these insights be translated into strong conclusions that foster the actions needed to ensure that dangerous climate change will be avoided.

The Dialogue on the Research and Scientific observation, as well as consideration of the RSO in the SBSTA agenda is of vital importance to the LDC group. We urge the SBSTA to consider, in the light of the outcome of the 2013-2015 Review, sending a strong signal to the IPCC to consider a marker scenario for the Sixth Assessment Report that would keep warming to below 1.5°C by the end of the century. Such scenarios are readily available in the literature now, and the absence of a 1.5°C marker scenario would prevent the IPCC from robustly assessing the incremental impacts at 1.5°C and 2°C in its next assessment. The SBSTA should consider requesting that the IPCC and the WMO ensure that the lowest marker scenario run in the model intercomparison exercises for the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC is compatible with limiting warming to 1.5°C.

Madam Chair, on issues related to economic instruments, including market based mechanisms, non-market approaches, and framework for various approaches all need careful consideration. We should also consider the potential relationship of these instruments with the 2015 agreement and previous decisions, including amendments to the Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanism.

It is of critical importance that the SBSTA develops methodologies for reporting financial information before Paris based on the experience gained in preparing the first Biennial Reports (BRs). It is also very crucial that methodologies for the reporting of climate finance are enhanced in order to gain more clarity and transparency on climate finance available for the needs of developing countries in both the pre- and post-2020 periods.

Madam Chair, on the issue relating to agriculture, the emphasis on adaptation is critical for LDCs. We hope that the upcoming workshops at this session, on early-warning systems and vulnerability assessments as they relate to agriculture, will be extremely valuable in identifying and closing gaps in information as well as in providing extensive knowledge on increasing the resilience of small-holder farmers to the impacts of climate change in LDCs. The assessment of risks and vulnerability of agricultural systems to different climate change scenarios in particular constitutes an important knowledge gap which needs to be addressed. It is furthermore critical that means to support the most vulnerable in accessing this information in a timely manner is provided for. Early warning systems and contingency plans hold great potential for reducing the impacts of extreme weather events in this regard. We also need to give strong direction to the Adaptation Committee on how it should incorporate agriculture into its work. Furthermore, we need to give guidance to the ADP on how adaptation for agriculture can be incorporated into the 2015 Legal Agreement.

Madam Chair, on issues relating to Nairobi Work Programme, the incremental figures of the involvement of partner organizations, their diversity and the involvement seems very impressive in the progress report. However, this does not clearly reflect implementation of activities and its impact at country level. We look forward to discussing the organizational set-up of the NWP in future.

Madam Chair, our Group is keen to see progress in the areas of methodological guidelines for both non–market approaches and non-carbon benefits related to REDD+ activities. We hope that we continue to progress and address the remaining REDD+ issues for full implementation.

On the issues relating to loss and damage, the Group also stresses that the composition of the Executive committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on loss and damage needs to be completed as soon as possible, so that the committee gets fully operationalized and starts implementing its two year workplan.

Madam Chair, we are confident that your chairmanship will continue to progress with significant and outstanding achievements.

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